Book Cover Design – Competition Brief

The brief was to create a book cover for the historically endeared child’s book Carries War. This children’s classic novel has been published many times, and each time with a different cover, therefore it must communicate the story in a new and exciting way. The cover must show an understanding of the history and culture of WWll from a children’s point of view and the emotional turmoil of displacement and fear of what the future had to hold. It must be imaginative and appeal to a very broad audience: 9-11 year olds and to the adults who buy books for children. Bringing a children’s classic war novel to a new generation of readers; this idea shifts and builds with culture and technology, as new relationships, and types of consumption create new questions especially to an audience of children.

Primary and secondary research:

The primary research focused on the audience, children from 9-11, and the evacuee status of the character in the book. The aim here was to tie in the present culture with the past and create an interest by visually tying in differences between the periods and binding them with the current culture and technology to this generation of children.

The historical research is where I drew inspirational abstracts from historical periods that I depicted from the prelude of reading the story.

The secondary research focused on inspirational concepts taken from the primary and historical research findings. Although this research phase was highly emotional, it gave me a tangible concept I was able to take into development.

Design rationale:

The metaphors encountered in this design lie in the label on the ground as in the instruction to eat or drink from the Alice in Wonderland story and the red coat as in Little Red Riding Hood.

Analogies lie in the similarities that resemble the arthritic hands and haunted tree branches in the forest. The correspondence of the hands reaching out to Carrie serve as the basis that were created from another form, tree branches into the arthritic hands are haunting and a bit creepy inspired by Tim Burton.

The label and forest themselves render a literal denotation of being an evacuee and displaced in a haunted forest that holds adventure supported by the hidden skull in the background trees.

One thing children like to do is find what is hidden, play hide and seek and search for hidden treasures. If you look at the background trees as a whole unit, you will see the screaming skull Carrie held in her hands.


The materials are mixed. The figure is a drawing done with pen, the fill in was done using digital media and the rest of the design was digitally illustrated. The effect of darkest shade in the foreground and lighter background creates a sharp highlight effect in the distance giving depth to the forest by use of colors.

I used a childlike font for the title, on the merchandise, the letter Carrie wrote has been embedded in the title overhead. I left the title on the book itself red to bring out the dress and allow the viewer to focus on other aspects of the cover.

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